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24 March 2016

PURIM is International Agunah Day 5776 in Israel


International Agunah Day is marked yearly on Ta'anit Esther, which falls this year on March 23rd. Through the work Dr. Rachel Levmore does in the IYIM Agunah and Get-Refusal Prevention Project it is clear that the best possible solution for the Agunah Problem at this time in history, is to prevent the very possibility of get-refusal. To this end every marrying couple should sign a halakhic prenuptial agreement for the prevention of get-refusal---The Agreement for Mutual Respect - Heskem 'l'Lavod Hadadi

On International Agunah Day: Follow my lead
Jerusalem Post, March 22, 2016
Dr. Rachel Levmore

Have you noticed the laypeople motivating, albeit incrementally, the rabbis? Remove the politicians from the turbulent Israeli mix of religion and state, focus on the foundation of Jewish identity – personal status – and you’ll see some signs of openness to innovation in the rulings and attitude of the rabbis. In most cases it is not self-inspiration motivating the rabbis, rather it is a reaction to the people.

Whether we speak of rabbinical court judges – under whose jurisdiction all JewishShowImage 4 residents of the State of Israel fall – or community rabbis, there has been a slow change in the approach to the status of spouses in a marriage, particularly that of the woman.For the judges it is in end-of-marriage issues, while for the community rabbis the change is occurring at the point the couples marry. Read More HERE

The Jewish Press, March 16,2016
Dr. Rachel Levmore

A year has passed and the outrageous stories of get-refusal continue to shame Jewish communities – both in their own eyes and in the eyes of general society. We have witnessed women suffering as agunahs in all the Orthodox sectors— yeshivish, chassidish, modern Orthodox and everyone in between. Rabbis and families stemming from every part of the religious community have experienced the frustration of being ineffective in relieving the existential pain of an agunah and her children.
When a husband refuses to give his wife a get, the victims of that get-refusal are more or less powerless to force him to do so. I say “victims” in the plural since a get-refuser holds reign not only over his wife, but also over her parents, siblings, community and even the rabbonim of the Beit Din trying to resolve that particular agunah problem. All of them pay the price of iggun, each in his own way. Not only is the situation agonizing, it is heartrending – since each of those involved could have prevented the husband from refusing to give the get. Read More HERE

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